Nove Bit is an interactive 3 x 3 matrix that allows users to record sequences of light and save them as 9 bit memories. Nove Bit addresses human to computer interaction by allowing the user to physically input the memory as 9 bits, as opposed to the traditional 8 bit computer memory. Nove Bit also touches on the notion of a personal memory by recording a users’ thoughts in time and replaying them as a pattern of lights. The visual memories are stored as 9 bits, represented by a corresponding button. Compared to 8 bits, 9 bits also allows for a visually even distribution of the memory as a square. The “Nove”, which means nine in Italian, also references the Arduino Duemilnove, one of the two micro-controllers that control the unit.

The programming mode is entered as soon as the user presses any button. The user can program light sequences by simply pressing buttons in the desired pattern. Patterns are recorded after several seconds of inactivity from the user. The patterns are replayed by fading the leds on and off inside the translucent white buttons. The buttons are placed in a wooden facade, while the square, white plexi-glass case forms the base and houses the Arduino and the TLC 5940 micro-controllers. The unit is powered by a wall adapter and can easily fit on a desk, nightstand or other flat surface with limited space.

The TLC 5940 was a little tricky, but thanks to Peter Macky and his source code, I could get it working.

The source code is available for download if anyone is interested. This older post shows all of the guts and an older, crappier video.

Nove Bit from Nick Hardeman on Vimeo.